How To Get First 100 Customers For SaaS Startups

first 100 customers b2b cloudlead

You have the perfect tool.

You – and maybe your co-founder(s) – make the perfect team.

You’ve nailed down a business model that you think will work.

You might even have investment and as such, some cash to burn.

The only thing left now is to find and reach buyers who can become recurring customers. However, it’s much easier said than done.

Keep in mind that going from 0 to 100 can be a painstaking process even if you and your team have a good network from your previous gig.

Although there are numerous strategies you can adopt to reach your target market, the first concern should be to create a lead generation and sales process. In other words, just because X tactic worked for your friend’s company, it’s not necessary that it will also work for you.

For instance, it’s not a good idea to go full throttle with paid ads on LinkedIn and other lead generation platforms. Before delving into such methods, you have to streamline a few things like your Ideal Customer Profile, nail down your buyer personas, etc. Of course, these are not static and are subject to change as you scale your startup.

Here, we’ve listed down a few steps (and ideas) that you can use to jump start your sales.

1 – Figure Out Your ICP

The very first step – the one crucial thing you cannot do without – is an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP).

It’s pretty simple; you can’t go around trying to contact people who you think might buy from you. Similarly, you cannot be vague as to who your ideal decision makers are.

For example, your customers are probably not all ‘IT guys.’ In smaller companies, the decision maker for you might be a CTO while in bigger companies an IT manager could hold the power to buy your product. Such factors need to be taken into account as they will affect the success of both your inbound and outbound sales strategies.

If you’re not sure how to go about it, we have a separate guide on how to build your Ideal Customer Profile.

2 – Contact Your Network

Once you have your buyers down, the next step should be to contact your network of friends and family. Ask them to introduce you to potential leads that they might be familiar with – of course, you cannot a cardboard message to everyone.

You’ll need to do a bit of research for this part. Start by identifying your leads on LinkedIn, see your mutual connections with them and ask people in your network to make an introduction. After all, 71% of B2B companies report a higher conversion rate from referrals compared to customers from other sources.

3 – Find The Right Data Partner

The idea is to get the right type of data to target your ideal prospects.

This includes sales triggers specific to your niche such as tech stack, recent funding round, hiring activity that could indicate expansion in a specific area, etc.

Armed with this information, you can not only identify opportunities, but also draft compelling offers for your prospects.

4 – Start With Cold Outreach

Your next step should be to create and run a cold outreach/cold email campaign to reach your prospects’ inbox.

Opt for an email automation tool like Reply.io or Woodpecker.co and remember to set your domain records like DMARC, SPF and DKIM to ensure deliverability.

Another great idea is to combine your cold emails with LinkedIn outreach. For instance, you can create the following sequence:

      • View profile on LinkedIn
      • Add contact on LinkedIn with a brief message
      • Send the first cold email
      • Send the second cold email
      • Message the contact on LinkedIn (if they’ve accepted your connection request of course)
      • Second the third, fourth and fifth email
      • Close with a message on LinkedIn

Here are a couple of email templates you can use to start:

      • Template 1

Hi {recipient name},

I am writing to you because being the {recipient’s current role}, I was convinced you know more about the recent practice of your firm at the {department name}.

So just like I’ve been of assistance to {your existing client}, I thought I could help you  improve your {ultimate challenge for this prospect}. I ran a reasonable level of research on your firm’s {present processes} and to which my take is as follows:

I observed {the current problematic scenario}. You could easily {suggest how to fix it}.

{Recipient name}, how about we speak over the phone sometime this week maybe for a few minutes to discuss this further?

      • Template 2

Hey {recipient name},

Being the {designation of the recipient} I feel you would find this statistic rather interesting. {Add a newly conducted study on the recipient’s field of business}

With this speedy progression in {recipient’s field of business}, I’ve enjoyed working with firms such as {client 1} and {client 2} in the {recipient’s location} by cultivating their {the outcome of using your service} with {your service name}. {Recipient name}, I really believe I can replicate these benefits for your firm as well.

Free for a brief 5-minute chat this week to see if we can work together?

Besides this, you can also incorporate cold calling into your process to generate interest in your offering.

5 – Engage With Influencers In Your Niche

This is another tactic that can help you get in front of your audience.

To start, make a list of influencers, draft an email to them concerning your product and offer a free trial in return for reviews. This will serve to expose you to their followers which means more views, traffic to your site, leads and ultimately, more customers.

Bottom Line

While the tactics listed here can help you generate leads, it’s also important to remember that your work does not end after the deal is closed.

If you don’t want to constantly lose customers – and as a result, be no closer to your target of 100 – you need to constantly improve your product based off feedback and deliver excellent customer service.

Cloudlead specializes in sales prospecting and B2B lead generation. We mine top of the funnel leads based on your ideal customer profile with sales triggers that help you close more deals than ever. Want to learn more? Book a demo with us today.

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